A convict from Kalmykia takes part in an International Internet chess tournament

On 5 July, the First International Internet Chess Tournament among convicts from seven countries started. On-line matches among the teams of convicts from Russia, England, Armenia, Brazil, Belarus, Italy and the USA took two days. A convict from the Republic of Kalmykia was member of the Russian national team.

Each country was represented by four players who played on Skype according to the all-play-all system. The winner team was determined by the number of points scored.


The team from Russia played against teams from Armenia, USA, Belarus and Italy. As a result, the Russian team with players from the Irkutsk, Bryansk, Tomsk regions and the Republic of Kalmykia outperformed all rivals and won first place. A player from Kalmykia played five games winning four.

The second place was shared by the teams of Belarus and Italy, and the third was awarded to Armenia. Each team of the tournament was represented by four players; they were not familiar with each other but played perfectly.
The choice of players was made according to the results of an All-Russian mass game of chess among prisoners. It was held on 19 July on the eve of International Chess Day simultaneously in all regions of Russia.
Our editorial office recalled a story from the distant 1994. It is extract from the book written by the first President of Kalmykia Kirsan Ilyumzhinov “The Crown of Thorns of the President”:
“On December 31, the very eve of 1994, I got a call from Salyn, the so-called "zone of convicts". The man on the phone reminded me of my promise to visit them during that year and it was already the year's last day. The convicts were arguing about whether the president would keep his promise or not.
Meanwhile my wife was busy preparing a festive meal for the family and guests. Nothing doing. I could not go back on my word. We loaded the car with New Year presents: two packs of Marlboro cigarettes for each convict, and left for the zone to see the new year in. The meeting lasted five hours instead of the expected two. Questions, answers and more questions. I had not anticipated that our interview would be so lively and frank. They asked me about my phi lanthropic foundation for the families of convicts, the  reforms  in Kalmykia and the republic's prospects. They touched upon international and domestic affairs and showed an interest in the real implications of the political reforms. And of course they brought up their own problems.
So it turned out that I left home in 1993 and came back in 1994.”
Since then, Ilyumzhinov almost every New Year brought gifts to prisoners: artists’ concerts, sweets and, of course, chess.